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Habana Port’s Top 15 Cigars of 2015


Greetings, aficionados de la hoja! For the 6th annual time the staff at Habana Port has compiled a list of what we think were the best cigars for that year. Our Top 15 Cigar Rankings for 2015 was especially difficult to list as once again the quality of the cigars on the market was very high not to mention the past year saw a record-amount of new companies into our humidors as a result. We smoked over 1,000 fine cigars and finally ranked the top 15 fine cigars that are available in our humidor (with the exception of a few which are small-batch occurrences or were one-time runs). The Number One (and Nine) cigar comes from a new company to our humidors.

For the third year in a row, instead of an Honorables Mention List (we used to award this to cigars that would have ranked 16 to 20), we list our Top 5 Sellers according to both gross dollar sales and units sold. Take a look at 2015’s Rankings and see what you think. We hope you agree with our choices. If you are interested in buying these cigars, visit any of our locations or shop online at
No. 1 – Lirio Rojo 2015

Dimensions:  5 1/2 x 44rg
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Nicaragua
The Lirio Rojo cigar translates to the Red Lily and is the limited holiday release from Warped Cigars, a new cigar company that is making a splash right now. We were the first shop in Louisiana to bring in Warped Cigars and many of our customers have been convinced. Made up of all Aganorsa leaf and constructed in TABSA, the Lirio Rojo was amazing. Many customers have agreed and have been stocking up knowing this line will not be available until next Christmas season. A complex yet smooth profile of cream, spice and coffee envelope the palate.
No. 2 – El Güegüense Corona Gorda

Dimensions:  5 5/8 x 46rg

Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Nicaragua
Nicholas Melillo was Drew Estate’s chief
tobacco buyer for over 12 years and was responsible for sourcing the company’s
large tobacco inventories for its famous lines like Liga Privada and Herrera
Esteli. He left the company and created Foundation
Cigar Company. His first line underscores his love of the country he has called
home for all these years. The inaugural brand is called El
Güegüense and is a nod to Nicaragua’s oldest folktale. Meaning “the wise
man”, El Güegüense is an all-Nicaraguan blend made at TABSA and uses
the famous Aganorsa tobacco. Production is capped at 200 boxes of each vitola
per month so it is a small-batch production. It features a Corojo ’99 wrapper
and binder from Jalapa, and a filler blend of Corojo ’99 and Criollo ’98 from
Jalapa and Estelí. The flavor profile includes spice, cream, coffee and cedar.
No. 3 – Sobremesa Cervantes Fino
Dimensions:  6 1/4  x 46rg
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: La Meca Ecuador Habano Grade 1 Dark Rosado
Sobremesa marks Steve Saka’s first brand since
leaving Drew Estate and was 2015’s most-anticipated cigar. Habana Port was fortunate to have been selected as Louisiana’s only purveyor of Sobremesa. A full-bodied smoke crafted by Joya de Nicaragua, “over the
table” celebrates the time after a meal when friends and family stay at
the table to have pleasant conversation before everyone rises. It is the
experience of lingering casually with family and friends in conversation,
relaxing, drinking, smoking, and enjoying each other’s company. Sobremesa is
one of life’s simplest, yet greatest pleasures. The flavor profile has a creamy core
laced with abundant notes of cedar, cocoa and café, which is punctuated by a
tellicherry peppercorn retrohale. Pleasing to the nose, Sobremesa provides the
smoker a delightfully sweet, lingering finish.
No. 4 – L’Atelier Côte D’Oro 2015

Dimensions:  7 x 47rg
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Nicaragua

The García family—of My
Father fame—offered L’Atelier Imports a small batch of pelo de oro tobacco, a strain
that is surrounded in a myriad of folklore. The tobacco was banned in Cuba due
to its propensity to mold, but is still grown by a select amount of people
around the world—including the Garcías. It is noted for its golden color—pelo de
oro translates into golden hair—and
the challenges of growing it. L’Atelier Côte D’Oro cigar pays tribute to the
similarities between growing Pinot Noir grapes and Pelo de Oro tobacco. Only
21k cigars were produced for 2015 which is the inaugural batch. We were highly impressed by this limited run with its chocolate and molasses overtones.

No. 5 – Illusione Fume d’Amour Viejos
Dimensions: 5 x 50rg
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Nicaragua
The Fume d’Amour was released in 2014 from Illusione and was an instant hit. More medium to mild-medium in strength, the cigar’s smooth and clean character is what set it apart.  This blend is a take off its Original Documents line. The difference is that there is no ligero in the Fume d’Amour. A bit of nutmeg, coffee and cream coat the senses. Very clean and superior to Cuban cigars of this strength.
No. 6 – La Flor Dominicana La Nox

Dimensions: 6 1/2 x 50rg
Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
Wrapper: Brazil
The new release from small-batch Dominican producer LFD, La Nox is distinctly packaged in 10-count circular black boxes that are held by magnets (although we understand that the company will now switch to 20-count boxes). The unique packaging showcases a blend that is also unique. Dark, bold notes of peppercorn, dark chocolate and espresso dominate the palate.
No. 7 – A. Fuente Don Carlos Eye of the Shark

Dimensions: 5 3/4 x 52rg
Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
Wrapper: n/a

Perhaps no other cigar in 2015 garnered as much demand than the now-famous Eye of the Shark. One of 2 cigars celebrating the Fuente patriarch’s 80th birthday, the Don Carlos Edicion de Aniversario Eye of the Shark is like its famous Anejo Shark counterpart but with a thinner ring gauge. The cigar like its older brother is box-pressed at the foot and rounds out to a torpedo at the head. The flavor notes include banana, wheat and bread. Very tasty but good luck finding these as most shops sold out.

No. 8 – E.P. Carrillo Seleccion Oscuro Especial Dinamico
Dimensions: 6 7/8 x 49rg
Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
Wrapper: Mexican San Andres Oscuro
The self-proclaimed “Godfather of Boutique” released the Seleccion Oscuro in Spring 2015. Coming off the success of La Historia’s number 2 ranking from Cigar Aficionado, EPC upped the ante with this blend. The cigar itself uses a Mexican San Andrés wrapper over Ecuador binder and Nicaraguan fillers. Oak, leather, and a smoky pepper coat the palate. We felt the churchill format smoked the best hence our selection for the Dinamico.
No. 9 – Corto X50
Dimensions: 4 1/2 x 50rg
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Nicaragua
Warped Cigars in general amazed us with all of its blends but the Corto was a huge hit among our customers (and the Habana Port staff) hence the 2nd Warped brand that hit our Top 15 list (the first time the same company scored multiple Top 15 spots in the same year). The box-pressed robusto is the company’s fullest-bodied blend and is constructed at TABSA. We feel that the demand for this cigar has exceeded Warped’s expectations because we have been out for weeks now and the company told us that the next shipment is not scheduled until some time in January. When we get re-stocked, so should you as these little beauties go fast.
No. 10 – My Father Connecticut Toro Gordo
Dimensions: 6 x 60rg
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Ecuador Connecticut
In 2014, My Father Cigars, headed by Pepin and Jaime Garcia, decided to offer a shade-grown wrapper and thus the My Father Connecticut was born. Unlike most Connies, the MFC has a buttery, cedary tone with fuller notes. The Toro Gordo has been smoking quite well the past year and is a great blend for those who want to expand past the mild range as this is an appropriate segue into the next part of the strength scale.
No. 11 – Ashton Symmetry Belicoso
Dimensions: 5 1/4 x 52rg
Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano

The first new Ashton in over 10 years, the Symmetry debuted in 2014 and has slowly garnered its fan base. A medium to medium-strong blend, the Symmetry has a leather and coffee mix and is made at Arturo Fuente’s factory. Well-constructed and smooth, the Symmetry offers a great experience to the smoker.

No. 12 – Padron Damaso No. 17

Dimensions: 7 x 54rg
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Undisclosed Connecticut-seed

Perhaps the most marketed wrapper this past year was the Connecticut shade. MFC, Drew Estate (with its UC Shade), AJ Fernandez’s New World Connecticut and now Padron have released Connie and shade-grown blends. Padron was perhaps the biggest story as the Cuban-style company has never used this wrapper. Due to competition, demand and a need to retain market share through shelf space, Padron released the Damaso. We loved the No. 17 which is a churchill format. However this blend is not for the typical Paddy fan. The blend is meant to target Ashton Classic, Davidoff White Label and Montecristo fans. A very mild yet creamy profile will please the refined smoker. Quite an historic release and worth a try.

No. 13 – La Imperiosa Dukes
Dimensions: 5 1/2 x 54rg
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Ecuador Habano Oscuro
The follow-up to the inaugural Las Calaveras batch, La Imperiosa is from small-batch brand owner Crowned Heads. Espresso, vegetal and mineral notes will tickle the palate. Another cigar that is made at My Father Cigars in Esteli, Nicaragua, La Imperiosa is the same blend as LC 2014 but now the blend is offered in different vitolas. We especially liked Dukes.
No. 14 – Room 101 Uncle Lee

Dimensions: 6 1/2 x 30/50/19
Country of Origin: Honduras
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
Named in honor of the relative who introduced Matt Booth to cigars, the Uncle Lee from Room 101 is a medium-strong blend that has more leathery, spice and earth notes. The box is adorned with Lee’s image. Don’t let his creepy look deter you though. The cigar is rich and flavorful and definitely earned its Top 15 placement.

No. 15 – Alec Bradley Coyol Belicoso
Dimensions: 5 1/2 x 58rg
Country of Origin: Honduras
Wrapper: Honduras (Trojes)
For the second year in a row (another 1st in our Top 15 List), the Alec Bradley Coyol makes the final cut in our rankings because this complex and smooth blend from Raices Cubanas (which has become AB’s go-to factory) continued to dazzle us and our customers. Meaning palm tree and named after a tobacco farm, Coyol has a bit of leather, coffee and earth. Medium to full, the Belicoso is a fatter-than-typical vitola.
Habana Port Cigar Merchants’ Top Sellers for 2015
Top Sellers by Gross Revenue, 2015
1. Padron 1964 Anniversary Series Maduro Piramide (Piloto)
2. Alec Bradley Fresh Toro Sampler Pack (Alec Bradley)
3. Tabacum Maduro Churchill (Habana Port)
4. Padron 1964 Anniversary Series Natural Exclusivos (Piloto)
5. A. Fuente Exquisitos Natural (Fuente Newman Premium)

Top Sellers by Units Sold, 2015
1. A. Fuente Exquisitos Natural (Fuente Newman Premium)
2. Tabacum Maduro Churchill (Habana Port)
3. Factory Throwouts #99 Natural (J.C. Newman Cigar Co.)
4. Casa de Garcia Maduro Churchill (Altadis)
5. Factory Throwouts #59 Sweet (J.C. Newman Cigar Co.)

Until the next post, siempre fumando,
Habana Port
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